And your new leather leaders are …

Summer Banks and Jim Benton

Summer Banks and Jim Benton

On Saturday at the Dallas Eagle, Mr. and Ms. Texas Leather contests were held, and your 2014 Ms. Texas Leather is Dallas’ Summer Banks, and 2014 Mr. Texas Leather is Houston’s Jim Benton. Banks scored the first time out in running for a title, and Benton is the 2013-14 Mr. Prime Choice. Both will compete in the spring for the respective national titles. Banks will head to San Francisco in April for the International Ms. Leather contest, and Benton to Chicago over Memorial Day for International Mr. Leather. Congrats to both!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Kody Nance is new Mr. Dallas Eagle

Kody NanceThe Dallas Eagle has a new standard-bearer to carry its name, and it’s Kody Nance. Nance, a North Texas leatherman, took the title Mr. Dallas Eagle 2014 at the competition on Saturday night. He doesn’t have much time to rest on his laurels, though. The victory immediately qualifies him to compete in Mr. Texas Leather 2014, which, as it happens, will also take place at the Eagle, on Jan. 24 and 25. The winner of that contest will represent the Lone Star State at International Mr. Leather 2014, the world’s largest leather contest, in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend. Congrats to Kody!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Mr. and Ms. Texas Leather crowned … but not without some controversy

UPDATED at 1:00 p.m.

The announcement of the new Ms. Texas Leather ended up being the most dramatic thing that happened Saturday night at the Dallas Eagle.

While the Mr. Texas Leather competition was full of deserving candidates, only one woman, who goes by Master Ces, entered for Ms. Texas Leather (which last year took place at a separate ceremony, held in the summer). That might be seen as a sure thing for her to take the title, but apparently that’s not the case. As former IML champ Jeffrey Payne-Roy pointed out in the announcements, in order to win the title, the contestant must score a minimum of 70. Because Master Ces did not reach that threshold, current reigning Ms. Texas Leather Synn Evans was tapped to continue in the position for 2013.

Or so it seemed. That was at 10:20 p.m. By 10:30, things had changed.

The disappointment and empathy for Master Ces in the audience was palpable and within about 10 minutes, the judges rescinded their prior decision. [ED NOTE: Apparently, there was a tallying error; see below.] Master Ces was officially instated as the new 2013 Ms. Texas Leather. Official photos were re-taken with the new titleholder in place.

One thing that did not change that night was the sash bestowing Mr. Texas Leather on Austin’s Bobby Thurman (pictured). One of the co-founders of Austin Gears, a year-old fetish organization in the capital, and the current Mr. Leather Knight, Thurman was clearly a popular choice among the many qualified and well-dressed candidates. He will compete at International Mr. Leather in Chicago next Memorial Day weekend.

Congrats to both.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Jack Duke wins International Leather Sir

When someone comes in the top 3 at a competition like International Mr. Leather, they usually hang up their competition jockstrap and become a senior statesman of the leather community. For a few years, Jack Duke did just that — judging other leatherman competitions, attending ex officio, etc.

But it turns out Duke wasn’t quite done with competing.

This weekend, Duke took first place in the International Leather Sir/boy competition in San Francisco.

It’s a wonderful coup for the Dallas-based pastry chef, following his third-place finish at IML in 2010, where he competed as Mr. Texas Leather.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

And the winner of IML is….

not Mr. Texas Leather.

Gabe Sims — whom we profiled this week on his run-up to the Chicago leatherfest, the 34th annual International Mr. Leather competition — came in 24th out of 48 contestants … a more than respectable showing. So, Sims must be disappointed. Not in the least, he told me.

“Don’t be sorry [I didn’t win,” he said. He got to meet IML founder Chuck Renslow in a “very solemn and emotional” ceremony. After what Sims felt was a successful interview and before the “pecs and personality” event, he went shopping. “A friend of mine fusses because I wear Wranglers, so I purchased some Nasty Pig jeans,” he said. Only fitting. Even though he lost, Sims calls his first IML appearance “an awesome experience. Not bad for a 55-year-old.” True, that.

Oh, and Mr. Michigan Leather Woody Woodruff took the title. Congrats to him.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Ms. Texas Leather Synn Evans wins International Ms. Leather over the weekend

The leather title tradition continued this weekend when Synn Evans, from Dallas, brought home the International Ms. Leather title. This matches the International Mr. Leather title won by Jeffrey Payne in 2009. This was the 26th annual event for the title, which was held in San Francisco.

She was tagged in this photo soon after she won the contest. Read our profile on Evans when she won Ms. Texas Leather 2011.

 

 

—  Rich Lopez

And the new Mr. Texas Leather is …

… Gabe Sims! It was a busy few days for the leather community as Texas Leather Weekend got under way, with the naming of Sims as the new Mr. Texas Leather. The Shreveport, La., native, who now resides in Irving, came into the competition with the title Mr. Hidden Door, and bested six other entrants from around the state to take the title. This automatically qualifies Sims to compete in International Mr. Leather in Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend this spring.

Sims has some big jackboots to fill. Two of the past three Mr. Texas Leather winners — Jeffrey Payne and Jack Duke (who served as head judge this weekend) — have done well at IML, with Duke coming in third in 2010 and Payne winning the who schmere in 2009.

Check out our slideshow from the event here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Jeffrey Payne announced as TGRA Grand Marshal for annual March rodeo

Former International Mr. Leather Jeffrey Payne can add another accomplishment to his resume. The Texas Gay Rodeo Association has announced Payne as its 2012 Grand Marshal for its annual March event, A Texas Tradition Rodeo. TGRA celebrates almost 30 years of gay rodeo and the 2012 event will be held March 2–4 in Fort Worth.

Read the official announcement after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

And the new IML is … NOT from Texas

The run couldn’t last forever. In 2009, Dallas’ Jeffrey Payne won the overall title at International Mr. Leather. Last year, Dallas’ Jack Duke came in third overall. This year, Mr. Texas, Roger Triche, was from Houston and represented Texas at IML. Roger unfortunately finished out of the money, and the winner for 2011 ended up being Frenchman Eric Gutierrez, the reigning Mr. Leather Europe.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Threepeat?

HELLBENT FOR LEATHER | Scott Moore has planned for a year to try and repeat the achievements of Dallas leathermen Jeffrey Payne and Jack Duke. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

Dallas has become a player in the international leather scene, and Scott Moore hopes to keep streak alive

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

Scott Moore has some big boots to fill — and we don’t just mean size 13 triple Ds.

In 2008, Dallas’ Jeffrey Payne parlayed his Mr. Dallas Eagle leatherman title into Mr. Texas Leather 2009, then went on to score the top international prize: International Mr. Leather. His service was seen as a benchmark for the entire community, and an award was even named after him.

The next year, Dallas’ Jack Duke pulled off almost the same feat, going from Mr. Dallas Eagle to Mr. Texas Leather and coming in an impressive third overall at IML.

The Texas leather scene — and more impressively, Dallas’ — was on the map for its depth and seriousness.

And that’s where Moore has to follow.

He’ll slide on his jackboots and strap on his harness this weekend to compete in the 16th annual Texas Leather Weekend, as leatherman from across the state gather in Dallas to celebrate their brotherhood and crown the new Mr. Texas Leather.

Whoever wins will go on to Chicago and IML in the spring, but Moore would like for North Texas to represent for a third year in a row … and, of course, work its way onto the winners’ podium.

“It hit home for me after I won Mr. Dallas Eagle and [the Voice] started listing [in Instant Tea] the history of the event, which I knew, but seeing it in print … well, as you say, I have big boots to fill. Jeffrey was phenomenal and Jack has also done a lot. But for now my goal is not to trip when coming up the stairs or fall off the edge of the stage. The rest will work itself out.”

Moore is being modest — this isn’t his first time on the runway. A few years ago, he was entered by a friend in the Bear of the Month contest at the Eagle, and eventually went on to be named Mr. TBRU 2007. Still, Mr. Dallas Eagle was the first leather contest he’d ever entered.

It was the culmination of a long journey for him. Moore, 43, started in the leather community 14 years ago when he still lived in San Antonio. That’s when his lover gave him a gift: His first piece of leather.

“It was a harness — I still wear it,” he says. “I have been increasingly active ever since.”

In fact, it was watching Payne and Duke win — as well as attending IML and other events — that gave him the impetus to seek out the title for himself.

“I really wanted to get more involved and be part of this brotherhood. It was on my mind for a year. So I read extensively, and have gone to a lot of events. There’s quite a bit of preparation. And it’s not a cheap hobby,” he says.
When it comes down to it, though, he knows the competition will really just be an opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of the leather community.

“I have met all of my competitors and have a really good group of people but there is no history or drama. Everyone’s advice is to be yourself and have fun. As a contestant, the have fun part is harder. I tend to be a little uptight — it’s in my nature. Paranoia helps as an attorney.”

Might not be had for a leatherman, either.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 28, 2011. 

—  John Wright